Outdoor retailer L.L.Bean has partnered with Maine outdoor gear startup Flowfold on a new collection of backpacks, totes and gear bags. The collaboration pairs L.L.Bean’s experience of more than a century of outdoor product development and customer satisfaction with Flowfold’s fabrics and design.
“We’re excited to launch this unique and innovative collaboration,” said Tom Armstrong, chief merchandising officer for L.L.Bean. “Our product teams have had such fun bringing together our expertise and our shared love of the outdoors, and it shows in the detail, design and performance of these bags.”
L.L.Bean was a Maine startup itself in 1912, when Leon Leonwood Bean began with a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe, better known today as the L.L.Bean Boot, and made in Maine. Today L.L.Bean sells thousands of outdoor products through its global e-commerce and retail business, including backpacks known for their durability.
Flowfold began in 2010 on Peaks Island, ME, with college friends making wallets from recycled, high-tech materials. In less than a decade, Flowfold has expanded its U.S. manufacturing to lightweight, minimalist gear for all kinds of outdoor adventures. L.L.Bean has carried Flowfold products online and in retail stores since 2016, but this is the first time the two companies have designed and developed products together.
“We wanted to create something special with L.L.Bean, and we believe we’ve done that with this co-lab collection,” said Charles Friedman, co-founder of Flowfold. “Making our products here in the USA allows a speed and agility in bringing these designs to market. Twelve months ago we had sketches on napkins, and now we have a growing collection that’d I’d put up against any other assortment in the industry. We’re darn proud of that.”
“We created this line of products together,” said Curt Nichols, corporate merchandise manager for L.L.Bean. “We want our customers to see both our labels on the products and know that they are getting the very best of both brands.”
The collaborative collection includes a center-zip backpack, a crossbody tote bag, utility organizer and wrist pouch, each in three colors, all made from ultralight, water-resistant X-Pac fabric. Prices range from $39 for the wrist pouch to $149 for the backpack. The collection can be found exclusively at L.L.Bean retail stores and online at llbean.com/flowfold.